One Man’s Bible (Yige ren de sheng jing)
Memories are depressing. They remind you of a former life that your present has nothing to do with anymore, but to carry their burden. Memories are traps in which one might very easily fall. Do memories kill us or are they a kind of a vent that actually helps us survive? In this novel Gao's (or the main character's) memories about his former life in China are probably both. His life is divided into three chapters: the present, the past with his childhood, and then his later past during the Cultural Revolution when he lost everything including his right to be a dreamer. It was the Cultural Revolution propelled by Mao that took away his happy childhood with lofty ideals, ambitions and joy. It was the Cultural Revolution that made him always fear, taught him to hide himself not just from the others, but even from himself. It was the Cultural Revolution that drove him away from China and later made him deny his memories for they have become too painful and depressing to bear.
/Raluca Batanoiu, Germany
Soul Mountain (Lingshan)
Every period needs some books as good records, telling us some characteristics of the time. Soul Mountain is one of the best books for Chinese society of the 1980s. It also shows us the universal difficulties and dilemmas in life. I read the book three years ago. I have forgotten many of the details and that is my general feeling of the book.
P.S. Since the author is Chinese, his family name is Gao, not Xingjian.
/Daniel Liang, China
For its narrative genius ... the stories that are intertwined in each other, and a strange sense of sadness that pervades it all.
/Smitha Vallathol, India
I haven't read any book similar to this, I believe that his way to tell the story without any piece of real action and focus entirely on the philosophic part is great, I have read the book three times like Borges suggest and each time it comfort me in a different way and makes me enter into a different world. I love it and recommend it when I can.
/Arturo Rendón Shoup, Mexico
I loved it because of the marvellous landscape descriptions and also because it shows us a little of the Chinese soul. Wonderful writing.
/Matos Pereira, Portugal
Because it's formless and light, chaotic and intimate, like a thought ... but still concrete and palpable, like real life.
/Francesco Silvestri, Italy
It is a great work of literature. The beautiful prose masterly exposes the truly fundamental questions of human loneliness, fear and love. It offers an imaginary vision of a real world experience. Undoubtedly one of the most distinguished novels of the 20th century.
/Alan Grant, Antigua & Barbuda
The Other Shore (Bi'an)
With original imagery and in beautiful language, this open-stage play illuminates the realities of life, death, sex, loneliness, and exile in a not only Chinese but also universal way.
/Lu Jun, China